Bisexual representation has increased, and lesbians form the highest percentage of LGBTQI characters. Yay!
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY THE GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION/ZACHARY DRUCKER
In conducting its annual Where We Are On TV report, GLAAD has found that almost 12% of regularly appearing characters across all broadcast networks are LGBTQI. Tracking LGBTQI representation across broadcast, streaming and cable shows in the US, this year’s study found that out of 775 characters on regular series, 92, equating to 11.9%, are LGBTQI, representing a 2.8% increase from last year’s results. Hurray!
Furthermore, cable projects experienced an increase in representation, with 138 characters noted as being LGBTQI. This marks an increase from 118 from last year’s survey, and for the first time in the report’s history, lesbian characters constitute the greatest percentage of LGBTQI characters. Forming 40% of LGBTQI characters, with 35% constituting gay men, this is a fantastic move for #WLW representation. Similarly, bisexual representation on cable projects also experienced an increase, accounting for 19% of regular characters, equating to 27.
Interestingly, Netflix boasted the highest percentage of LGBTQI characters, marking an increase of 45 characters from last year’s survey. Amazon and Hulu wielded 36 LGBTQI characters each, whilst Apple+ TV reported a mere six. Representation of HIV positive characters on screen, though, is stagnant, with GLAAD finding just two characters with these storylines.
In light of this news, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated: “The growing state of LGBT+ representation on television is a signal that Hollywood is truly starting to recognise the power of telling LGBT+ stories that audiences around the world connect with. At a time when anti-LGBT+ legislation and violence continues to increase, it is cultural institutions like television that take on the crucial role of changing hearts and minds through diverse and inclusive storytelling”.
“Networks and platforms must continue to prioritise telling LGBT+ stories that have been long overlooked, with a specific focus on the trans community, LGBT+ people of colour, people living with HIV, and LGBT+ people with disabilities”, Sarah concluded.
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